Laboratoire MAPIEM (UR 4323)

Matériaux Polymères Interfaces Environnement Marin

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Signaling Systems involved in biofilm formation (SISYF)


Due to the REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals), new environmentally friendly and non-toxic antifouling strategies are being studied. One of the approaches is to find active molecules which will replace biocides that are currently on the market, with those that can be formulated in paints dedicated to ship hulls.

The success of this strategy requires a good understanding of the mechanisms used by marine microorganisms to adhere and form a biofilm on a surface. The aim is to target mechanisms that are well represented in microorganisms, without being involved in the vital functions of the organism. As microorganisms are most probably the first to colonize an immersed surface, due to their important diversity and abundance in the marine environment, and that they are often the most difficult to eliminate from an inert substratum, they will be our principal experimental focus.

The biological mechanisms that we are investigating are as follows:

  • the inhibition of adhesion and biofilm formation targeting proteins and/or extracellular appendices that are frequently found on the surface of bacteria;
  • the inhibition of interbacterial communication systems such as Quorum sensing;
  • the inhibition of the intracellular regulatory system involving the c-diGMP, potentially present in nearly all bacteria.

Therefore, the objectives are:

  1. to characterize these mechanisms at the molecular level;
  2. to synthetize original molecules targeting these mechanisms and to evaluate different combinations of these molecules to optimize the efficiency on the largest possible panel of microorganisms and/or decrease the concentrations of biocides that are currently used in antifouling coatings.


  • adhesion
  • biofilm
  • bacteria
  • analogues
  • Quorum sensing
  • c-di-GMP
  • molecules cocktails
  • antibiofilm
  • antifouling
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Signaling Systems involved in biofilm formation (SISYF)